/ by Hali Wyatt /photography by Chelsey Ashford

One of our strongest senses is smell. Our memories are often coupled with certain smells and candles can revive those memories at the spark of a match. When we light candles, we ignite the mood that accompanies them. If you’re looking to make your home serene and inviting, lighting  a candle is the way to go.

Downtown Greenville houses its very own candle microfactory (and its rather adorable). Magnolia Scents by Design produces thousands of hand-poured candles in seasonal scents, but they also offer candle-making classes that are open to the public several times a week. Choose your scent and color, even name and label it, all while learning about soy candles.

“Whether you’re looking for a girls’ night out or a date night, candle making classes are fun,” says Tina Rodgers, co-owner of Magnolia. “Not only will you get to keep the candle you create, we also hope you’ll learn something new and you’ll be sharing the experience with people you care about.”

Homemade gifts have the potential to go terribly wrong. When you choose to make a “help-made” gift, you’ll feel confident that you’re doing it right, with instructors guiding you every step of the way. In this case, you can make a professionally produced candle, support a local business and have a great night out Downtown. “People now are looking for experiences more than just something to buy,” says Rodgers.

Soy for the Home

Soy simply burns much cleaner than other wax alternatives. There’s far less black soot around the rim of the candle jar, providing a cleaner look when displayed. Soy wax is healthier to burn within the home in comparison to alternatives like paraffin wax, which is actually a petroleum byproduct.

The soy that Magnolia sources to make their candles has been harvested and processed in North America, an extra step they take to ensure the low toxicity of their finished product. It seems like we’re all becoming more conscious of what cleaning products, deodorants and toothpastes we use, why shouldn’t it be the same for the candles we burn?


Magnolia holds hour-long public classes for $25 per person, Sunday through Thursday.

Private candle classes are available with a reservation of six or more.


Soy candle making in four steps

A candle making class  is instructional and a  heck of a good time.  The steps seem simple enough, but having a space dedicated to the process and all the equipment at hand, makes the experience extra satisfying.

  1. You will be given a clean 10-ounce tempered glass, lidded jar. Choose your fragrance from the shelves of candles at the front of the store.
  2. Create a name for your candle and add the personalized label to your jar. Affix the wick in the bottom of the jar and pull it taut using a slotted T-bar.
  3. Add hot melted soy wax to a beaker, then the fragrance oil and stir and stir and stir for several minutes.
  4. Add dye a drop at a time until you reach a desired shade though it will dry lighter. Continue stirring. Once your wax has reached an ideal temperature, you’ll pour it into the jar. The candle needs to set/cool for at least 2 hours, but overnight is best.


Not up for a class?

Magnolia will fill any vessel you bring in, such as a coffee mug, wine glass, Ball jar, or even a coconut shell, with the candle of your choice for $1.29 per ounce. As long as your vessel isn’t plastic and can hold liquid, it’s good to go.